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The New England Patriots fell to 1-2 after losing to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3, their first time under .500 since they lost their 2003 season opener to the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots will play those same Buffalo Bills as they attempt to get back to .500 during Week 4 in Buffalo.
The Bills have won two straight and sit a game ahead of the Patriots at 2-1. Last season the Bills beat the Patriots in a 34-31 shootout when the two met in Buffalo. This is the first AFC East game for New England this season.
Here’s the full schedule for Week 4, all times Eastern.
Thursday, Sept. 27
Sunday, Sept. 30
Monday, Oct. 1
Despite frustrations surrounding the NFL's replacement referees, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady admitted Tuesday he never blames officials for the outcome of a game -- including Sunday's 31-30 loss to the Baltimore Ravens that featured head coach Bill Belichick grabbing a referee during the postgame.
"I feel like these guys are doing the best they can do, to tell you the truth," Brady said to WEEI's Dennis & Callahan during his weekly appearance. "They are going to miss calls and so forth, but part of my job is not to worry about officials. I hate talking about them, I have never talked about the officials. The reason we lost our particular game wasn't because of the officials. I wouldn't say that I could blame them, that's the easy way out."
Brady said it was frustrating to lose Sunday, but none of his frustrations had to do with the referees. Instead, he was upset about figuring out how his team blew a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter.
The two-time NFL MVP did admit he has seen changes with the behavior of players on the field with the replacement refs, as players are more physical and there's more pushing and shoving.
"But from my standpoint, for me, it's been business as usual and that's the way our offense has been."
After Baltimore place kicker Justin Tucker kicked the game-winning field goal, the quality of the call came into question and Belichick was seen grabbing the arm of line judge Esteban Garza as everyone was leaving the field. On Monday afternoon, the Patriots head coach explained that he was merely trying to gain the official's attention to see if the play was going to be reviewed.
After attempting and failing to gain his attention, Belichick grabbed Garza so he could speak with him about the call. He says he didn't mean to offend or disrespect the official with his actions, via The Boston Herald:
"I've coached in this league a long time and never been penalized, never had any incidents with officials or anything like that. I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials and the job that they do. I'm trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call [...] in that game."
This story originally appeared at SB Nation. For more on the Patriots and Bill Belichick, please be sure to check out our blog Pats Pulpit, SB Nation Boston, our Football Hub and SB Nation for all the latest news and updates.
The Baltimore Ravens won a rematch of the 2011 AFC Championship game on Sunday night, beating the New England Patriots, 31-30. Rookie Justin Tucker squeezed in a 27-yard field goal just over the right post as time expired to give Baltimore the victory.
The Patriots fell below .500, at 1-2, for the first time since losing the opening game of the 2003 season. The Ravens moved to 2-1 and got revenge for the lost that ended their season a year ago. SB Nation's blogs covering the two teams, Patriots blog Pats Pulpit and Ravens blog Baltimore Beat Down, provided reaction following the highly charged contest.
Pats Pulpit highlighted five things that Boston could take away from the narrow loss, including:
The Patriots didn't lose this game because of the replacement refs, they lost it on their own-more specifically due to their inconsistency on offense.
New England's Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 20-yard field with 14:10 left in the game, and that was their final scoring drive.
New England had a perfect opportunity to close out the game, but they simply couldn't do it.
Baltimore Beat Down had high praise for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, saying:
The Baltimore Ravens beat the New England Patriots last night in the same exact manner as they did in last year's AFC Championship Game. The only difference? They made the field goal at the end of the game this time, albeit just barely. The common denominator? In both games there was no question that Ravens QB Joe Flacco outplayed Patriots QB Tom Brady.
Immediately following the New England Patriots' 31-30 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, head coach Bill Belichick grabbed a referee while looking for an explanation on the game-winning field goal.
While the physical contact with a ref has garnered plenty of attention and caused a controversy, Belichick doesn't expect to be fined by the NFL. However, the league will be reviewing the situation.
When prompted for his opinion of the officiating, the three-time Super Bowl champion didn't have much to say.
"I’m not going to comment about that," Belichick said. "You saw the game. What did we have, 30 penalties called in that game?"
Belichick also responded with a simple "no" when asked if he's expecting a fine.
Most fans and experts who watched the game were extremely critical of the officiating, as pointed out by Gregg Rosenthal at nfl.com:
The NBC crew of Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels called the situation "ridiculous" at one point. The Baltimore crowd, upset by a call that extended New England's final drive, had the most intense, expletive-filled chant we've ever heard.
After the league sent out a memo telling the coaches to show respect to the replacement refs, it will be intriguing to see if it fines perhaps the most recognizable coach in football.
This story originally appeared at SBNation.com. For more on the Patriots and Bill Belichick, please be sure to check out our blog Pats Pulpit, SB Nation Boston, our Football Hub and SB Nation for all the latest news and updates.
The big news on the injury front was the loss of wide receiver Julian Edelman. The slot extraordinaire left the contest with a hand issue at halftime after catching a 7-yard touchdown with two seconds remaining in the half. It's unclear how serious the problem is at this point.
New England was lucky to avoid any other injuries in the contest, despite it being a very hard-hitting affair. The Patriots came in with a few game-time decisions in guard Logan Mankins and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. However, both played and performed quite well in the losing effort.
A few Patriots that couldn't quite make it onto the field were highlighted by tight end Aaron Hernandez. The versatile star was sidelined in New England's Week 2 loss against the Arizona Cardinals with an ankle problem that's expected to keep him out for more than a month.
Corner Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring) was also a no-go along with running back Shane Vereen, who is still recovering from a foot injury.
A 27-yard field goal by Justin Tucker helped the Baltimore Ravens complete a fourth-quarter comeback and defeat the visiting New England Patriots, 31-30, at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. The victory helped the Ravens improve their record to 2-1 overall, while the Patriots (1-2) dropped its second straight game.
Tucker's lone field goal of the night capped a seven-play, 70-yard drive that began with just under two minutes to go in the game. Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco completed 3 of 4 passes for 45 yards on the final drive, but it was a pass interference penalty on Patriots' defensive back Devin McCourty on Baltimore wide receiver Jacoby Jones that moved the ball to New England's seven-yard line.
After the Ravens ran one play to center the ball in the middle of the field and rundown the clock to :02 remaining, Tucker just snuck the kick inside the right upright.
A 20-yard field goal by Patriots' kicker Stephen Gostkowski with 14:19 to play in the fourth quarter seemed to have put the game out of reach as New England led 30-21.
Despite the late-game deficit, the Ravens were able to rally closing the margin to two points, 30-28, after wide receiver Torrey Smith caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Flacco with 4:08 to play.
The Ravens answered the score with a defensive stand which gave its offense the ball with enough time to make a game-winning march.
Ravens running back Ray Rice rushed for a game-high 101 yards on 20 carries, while Smith caught six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns less than 24 hours after learning about the death of his brother. Flacco finished the game 28-for-39 with 382 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 28 of 41 passes for 335 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Wes Welker caught eight balls for a 142 yards, while teammate Brandon Lloyd had nine receptions for 108.
Despite earning the win, the Ravens' one-point victory was not enough to cover the 3-point spread.
Story originally published at SBNation.com.
After a first half with many momentum swings, the Patriots began the third quarter with a 20-14 lead over the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
In a rare sight around these parts, the Pats would be forced to kick off to begin the second half after losing the pre-game coin toss. The Ravens would torch the New England defense on their opening drive of the half, taking the ball 80 yards in less than four minutes for a go-ahead touchdown. Baltimore was set up inside the Patriots' 10-yard-line after third-year defensive back Devin McCourty would be burnt by a Ravens' receiver for what seemed like the 87th time in the game. Superstar running back Ray Rice would finish the drive with his first rushing touchdown of the evening.
Tom Brady and the New England offense would take a much more methodical approach to things upon taking over with the ball for the first time in the half. The Patriots would take another six minutes off the clock on a solid drive anchored by a perfect balance of run and pass. After a couple of clutch third down grabs by Brandon Lloyd, reserve tailback Danny Woodhead would take it in on the ground to help the Patriots regain the lead, 27-21.
The fourth-year receiver, who played quarterback at Kent State, hadn't scored a touchdown since his rookie season in 2009, but caught a seven-yarder to go ahead with a few seconds before the end of the first half. Edelman ran off the field into the locker room with team trainers immediately after the touchdown. It's unclear how he sustained the injury, as he was completely untouched on the play - perhaps something to do with an overzealous spike celebrating the touchdown.
Edelman is listed as a backup to Wes Welker on the depth chart and has been splitting snaps with the Pro Bowler. It's likely Welker will take all the team's snaps out of the slot if Edelman is unable to return, as Edelman is not listed as having an immediate backup on the depth chart.
A late second-quarter touchdown drive has helped the New England Patriots earn a 20-14 halftime lead over the host Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. The first half of this Week 3 NFL showdown featured two touchdowns and field goals from the Patriots, who scored with seven seconds remaining in the half to earn its six-point lead heading into the locker room.
The go-ahead score was a seven-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady and wide receiver Julian Edelman, who was pretty amped to score his first TD of the season.
Edelman's touchdown was New England second of the night. The first was a two-yard rush by Brandon Bolden, who capped a small three-play, six-yard drive that gave the Patriots an early 10-0 advantage.
Early on, a lot of things went right for the Patriots, however, things did get a bit chippy as Baltimore clawed back into the game and took a 14-13 lead with 1:53 to go in the half. The chippyness did not sit well with Patriots head coach Bill Belichcik.
Tom Brady threw for 214 yards on 15-of-22 passing to lead the New England Patriots to a 20-14 halftime lead over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium.
New England scored 13 unanswered points to open the game, courtesy of two Stephen Gostkowski field goals (37- and 49-yards) and a two-yard touchdown run by Brandon Bolden in the first quarter, but Joe Flacco (12-of-16, 136 yards, 2 TD, INT) zipped two touchdown passes to Torrey Smith (25 yards at 9:53 of second quarter) and Dennis Pitta (20 yards at 1:53) to give Baltimore a one-point lead. However, Brady led the Pats on a nine-play, 81-yard touchdown drive capped off by a seven yard pass to Julian Edelman.
Wes Welker had three catches for 96 yards and Brandon Lloyd grabbed three footballs for 45 yards. New England's rushing game, which had looked good over the first two weeks, had only 36 yards on 16 carries in the half. New England outgained Baltimore, 241-204.
The Patriots and Ravens' Sunday Night Showdown was without doubt the most highly anticipated NFL contest on the schedule this week. During the first quarter of action, the visiting Patriots were able to take complete control.
After both teams traded punts on their first offensive possessions, the Patriots would break through with the first big play of the game. Quarterback Tom Brady would hook up with the man who has been the center of controversy here in New England during the first few weeks of the season, Wes Welker, for a 59-yard pitch-and-catch. The play would set up a Stephen Gostkowski field goal to put the Pats ahead 3-0 early.
On the next play from scrimmage, Joe Flacco would be intercepted by first-year Patriot Steve Gregory, setting up Brady and the offense inside the Ravens' 10-yard-line. Just three snaps later, undrafted rookie free agent Brandon Bolden would punch it in for a 2-yard touchdown run, the first of his young career.
The Patriots would once again perform a successful drive on the Baltimore defense, but a costly pass interference penalty against Julian Edelman would push them back outside the Ravens' 30-yard-line. Fortunately for New England, Gostkowski would be able to knock through a 49-yard field goal to secure a 13-0 lead for the Patriots.
The New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens have released the list of players who won't be dressing for tonight's nationally televised game, and the only moderate surprise is a name that doesn't appear on the list. Torrey Smith, the Ravens wide receiver, found out his brother died about 18 hours before, but is suited up and will play.
Aaron Hernandez is the only name that jumps off the list for the Patriots, but we knew he'd be out after suffering a lengthy ankle injury last week. The other inactives are cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, defensive end Jake Bequette, defensive end Justin Francis, running back Shane Vereen and offensive lineman Nick McDonald.
For the Ravens, sitting out will be wide receiver LaQuan Williams, cornerback Asa Jackson, offensive lineman Jah Reid, tight end Billy Bajema, defensive end Deangelo Tyson, linebacker Sergio Kindle and defensive tackle Bryan Hall.
This story originally appeared on SBNation.com.
Terrible news for the Baltimore Ravens' Torrey Smith on Sunday, as the young wide receiver Tweeted that his little brother, Tevin, passed away at some point in the early morning. According to a Tweet from Jason La Canfora, he was involved in a motorcycle accident at around two in the morning. La Canfora's Tweet also says that Smith has left the hotel that the Ravens are staying at in advance of Sunday night's game against the New England Patriots.
In the initial Tweet, Smith said "this is the hardest thing ever," and proceeded to Tweet a picture of his younger sibling. ESPN corroborates the report that Smith left the team hotel early in the morning after hearing of the accident. According to Evan Silva via Twitter, Sal Paolantonio said that Smith informed the Ravens that he still wants to play on Sunday:
Per Sal Paolantonio, Torrey Smith informed #Ravens he still wants to play 2nite despite brother's death. Team will leave decision up to him.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 23, 2012
There is plenty of time to make that decision. The Ravens don't play until 8:20 p.m. ET, as they're the showcased game for Sunday Night Football against the Patriots. Inactives come out approximately an hour prior to the game, so if it's not reported by then, that will be the first indication of Smith's playing status following this tragedy.
This story was originally published on SB Nation.
After a disappointing home loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2, the New England Patriots will look to get things back on track this Sunday when they visit the Baltimore Ravens. Here are five things to watch for during Sunday night's game.
Event: New England Patriots (1-1) vs. Baltimore Ravens (1-1) - Regular Season, Week 3.
Date/Time: Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 8:20 p.m. ET.
Location: M&T Bank Stadium (Capacity: 71,008), Baltimore, MD
Broadcast Info: Sunday's contest between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens will be televised nationally on Sunday Night Football on NBC (Ch. 7 in Boston and surrounding areas). The game can also be heard on the radio on WBZ-FM 98.5 The Sports Hub, with Gil Santos and Scott Zolak on the call, and Sirius satellite radio channel No. 92.
Odds: Baltimore is favored over New England by 2.5/3 points, according to SB Nation.
Patriots 53-Man Roster: View the New England Patriots' 53-man roster by clicking here.
Ravens 53-Man Roster: View the Baltimore Ravens' 53-man roster by clicking here.
Last Season: New England is coming off of a very successful season in which it reached the Super Bowl, but lost to the rival New York Giants. The 2011 version of the Pats went 13-3, best in the AFC, and easily took care of the Denver Broncos and barely squeaked past the Baltimore Ravens en route to the big game in Indianapolis. Baltimore was 12-4 in 2011 (first in the AFC North) and made it to the AFC Title game before being eliminated.
Preseason: New England went 1-3 in the preseason, defeating the New Orleans Saints (7-6) in the opener but losing to the Philadelphia Eagles (27-17), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30-28) and the New York Giants (6-3). Baltimore went 2-2 in the preseason, beating the Atlanta Falcons (31-17) and Jacksonville Jaguars (48-17) while falling short against the Detroit Lions (27-12) and the St. Louis Rams (31-17) in their preseason finale.
Last Time Out: It seemed like a sure thing that the Patriots would beat the Cardinals. Tom Brady even threw for 316 yards, but a shocking miss from kicker Stephen Gostkowski in the closing seconds, wide left, gave Arizona a 20-18 victory and gave the Pats their first loss in a home opener at Gillette Stadium. New England lost star tight end Aaron Hernandez to a low ankle sprain in the first half, and he is expected to miss at least one month. Baltimore came up on the short end of a 24-23 game in which Michael Vick torched the Ravens' defense for 371 passing yards, but was picked off twice. Joe Flacco had 232 passing yards, one scoring toss and an interception while Ray Rice had 99 rushing yards.
Last Meeting: Ravens fans, look away. The last time New England and Baltimore played each other was in the 2011 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium, and a Billy Cundiff missed field goal as time expired sent the Ravens home for the offseason and allowed the Pats to advance to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. Brady was mediocre throughout the game, even saying he "sucked" in the postgame interview, and he finished with 239 passing yards but two interceptions. Rob Gronkowski had five catches for 87 yards and BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 68 yards and one score for New England. Flacco had 306 passing yards and two scores, but was picked off once. Rice was held to 67 rushing yards and Anquan Boldin had six catches for 101 yards for Baltimore.
Storyline: Whenever the Pats and Ravens get together, it's a party. Two of the NFL's consistent contenders, playing at a place where one team (the Ravens) hasn't lost since 2010, all in front of a national audience. It doesn't get much better than that. Oh wait, it does. To top it all off, this is a rematch of last year's AFC Championship Game, and each team lost last weekend. You can bet that each team wants a win in the worst way. Can Bill Belichick and New England avoid a second straight loss and a sub .500 record? Looking at recent history, the likely answer is yes. The Pats don't often lose back-to-back games with Belichick as their coach, but trivial facts like that have little meaning once the game begins. The high octane Patriots offense, led by Tom Brady (duh), will have to pull out all the stops to crack the Ravens powerful defense. Baltimore isn't a pushover on offense, either, with Rice's ability to rack up 100 yards (sometimes in his sleep). New England's defense has looked a lot better this season, but it still has some work to do. Whatever happens Sunday, know this: it will make for some good Sunday television. Get your popcorn ready. It's on.
Players To Watch: The quarterbacks will dictate this game. As usual, if Tom Brady brings his 'A' game, opponents don't stand a chance. Joe Flacco, meanwhile, has looked good in spurts (especially against the Pats in last year's AFC title game), and if he clicks, he can be problematic for the Pats' defense. Speaking of defense, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are going to do everything in their power to make sure Tom Terrific has a long, sad flight home. Stevan Ridley played well for the second straight week in the backfield, and Ray Rice shouldn't have a problem racking up the yards. Keep an eye out for Kellen Winslow Jr. and Deion Branch, if they play. Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker will be factors, too.
Prediction: Something has to give. High powered offense, high powered defense. In recent years, Baltimore has showed the ability to contain New England, but never discount a Pats team on the verge of a two-game losing skid. Final Score: Patriots 27, Ravens 24.
Ready for a rematch? Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (1-1) take on the Baltimore Ravens (1-1) in a rematch of last year's AFC Championship game in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football (8:20 p.m. ET; NBC).
The New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens clash on Sunday in an AFC Championship rematch.
After dropping their home opener (against the Arizona Cardinals) for the first time in over a decade, New England has quite a few players on the mend.
The list of players who are limited in their participation is extensive.
Only one player who is on the report practiced in full, safety Patrick Chung. New England still has two practices before the weekend.
With Deion Branch and Kellen Winslow Jr. joining the New England Patriots, cuts had to be made to fit the two new players on the roster. Wide receiver Greg Salas and linebacker Mike Rivera were placed on waivers Tuesday and running back Lex Hilliard was cut according to a league source.
The Patriots traded a 2015 seventh-round draft pick to the St. Louis Rams on Sept. 1 to acquire Salas, who was a fourth-round pick in 2011. Salas played in six games for the Rams last season, catching 27 passes for 264 yards.
Rivera has been active for both of the Patriots game this season, playing on special teams in both games. Prior to this season he has bounced around, spending time on the practice squads of the Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, and Miami Dolphins.
Hilliard was signed by the Patriots on Sept. 4 and saw limited action as a fullback this season. Hilliard played four snaps in the Patriots Week 2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He spent the past four seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
The New England Patriots will once again be the home of wide receiver Deion Branch according to a league source. Branch was released during training camp, but injuries have forced the Patriots to make changes to the roster.
With TE Aaron Hernandez suffering a high ankle sprain in the Patriots Week 2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, New England has sprung into action in an attempt to replace the versatile player. First the Patriots signed TE Kellen Winslow Jr., and now they have added Branch.
This will be Branch's third stint with the Patriots, playing with the team from 2002-2005 and 2010-2011. The highlight of his tenure in New England was his 10 catch, 143 yard, TD performance in the Patriots 24-21 Super Bowl XXXIX victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Branch's return isn't a complete shock as the team never took Branch's name off his locker, right next to Tom Brady's.
With Week 2 officially in the books, the New England Patriots (1-1) took a bit of a hit in the power rankings due to the disappointing 20-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals (2-0) in Foxborough this past Sunday. Largely considered as one of the league's top teams, the Patriots are no longer ranked in the top-five in either of SB Nation's or NFL.com's Tuesday morning rankings but managed to hold on to a spot in ESPN's poll.
At SB Nation, the Patriots dropped five spots to No. 7 after being ranked second after Week 1.
The Patriots are probably better than the seventh-ranked team but you can not lose to the Cardinals -- !!!! -- in your home opener. First ever home opener loss at Gillette. That was bad.
NFL.com also had the Patriots drop five spots to No. 7 and has the team behind the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles. At ESPN, New England dropped four spots from No. 1 overall to five. While the drop was not as substantial as the other polls, the sentiment was far more ominous.
A home loss to Arizona either will be a wake-up call or the beginning of the Patriots' demise.
The New England Patriots have signed free agent tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., sources tell ESPN's AFC East blogger, James Walker. Winslow will try to fill the void of tight end Aaron Hernandez, who's expected to be out at least a month after suffering a high ankle sprain in Sunday's 20-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Winslow, 29, worked out for the Patriots during training camp, but he did not earn a roster spot. The former No. 6-overall draft pick from the University of Miami will be a part of his third team in four seasons.
Over the offseason, Winslow was traded from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Seattle Seahawks, who released the former Pro Bowler in the spring after he said he wouldn't take a pay cut. Last season for the Bucs', Winslow caught 75 passes for 763 yards and two touchdowns.
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